Here are some of the “whys” that have guided and motivated people:
A young mother loved celebrity fashion (her “why”) but was on a very tight budget. She had a knack for finding items at discount stores that made her look like she just stepped off the red carpet at the Academy Awards. She started blogging about at which stores she found the items…and now, five years later, her blog gets over a quarter of a million hits daily.
Another young woman also loved fashion but she enjoyed blending vintage and current styles (her “why”). On a whim, she put her creations on ebay and now she is the owner and CEO of a fashion company that employs over 100 people.
A young woman loved writing and making people laugh (her why). She blogged funny stories about her life: work, love, friends. She now sells stories to several cable TV networks and is a sought after speaker at schools.
Your homework today is to continue refining your “why?”.
All last week you thought about your dreams, separating the ones someone thinks you should and ought to strive for from the ones that you are truly enthusiastic and excited about.
Your homework today is to start planning using your dreams as the guide.
The very first step is to answer the question “Why?”, why do you want to achieve these dreams?
If you say you’re doing it for the money or the fame or to prove yourself, then dig deeper. These are reasons that come from your ego. They have a burst of energy initially, but it quickly blazes out leaving you to crash and burn if this is your only fuel.
What you’re looking for are the “whys” (motivations, reasons) that are firmly rooted in your heart and soul. You’re looking for statements such as “Because I love it!” and “I’m naturally really good at it!” and “I’d do this for free but it just so happens that people pay me!” and “I’d do this all day long and the whole night through if I could!”
You’re also looking for reasons such as “This makes me so happy and fulfilled that I’m a better person!” And “I’m a kinder, more generous person when I’m immersed in this!” And “I want everyone to achieve their dreams and I’m eager to lend a hand where I can!”
Take time to answer this “Why?” question. Think deeply about it. It’s okay if it takes you several sessions of sitting quietly and undisturbed. It’s vitally important that you reach the Whys that are born of your soul’s urgings and your heart’s whisperings. These will fuel you throughout your journey—they are the ones that have the energy that will sustain you through the bumps and twists of your path.
Your answers to the “Why?” question are going to be unique to you and deeply personal. Jot down these reasons and keep them handy. Refer to them frequently, especially when you need a boost of energy or if you need to get back on track.
When we run up against resistance regarding our goals and dreams, sometimes we think we should—and actually do—jettison dreams that are ours and tightly grasp the ones that belong to someone else! That’s because it can be tricky to tell the difference between our true dreams and those dreams that others keep putting on our plate.
We have big dreams, which is excellent! But they can be very intimidating and overwhelming. This can manifest as lethargy, fatigue, procrastination, not being able to focus on our dreams and goals, as well as not being able to sustain our concentration on them. If we experience any of this it does not mean that these are not our true goals!
But that can feel a lot like what happens when we face the dreams others have handed to us. We put things off, drag our feet, have low energy, don’t put forth our best effort, and find it hard to get excited over these goals and dreams.
The way to tell the difference is by sitting quietly, uninterrupted, for a period of time. Hold the different dreams in mind. The ones that naturally ignite a spark inside you are the ones to pursue. Those are your true dreams—they are born of your heart and soul!
Your homework today is to sit quietly with your dreams and make sure they are truly yours. While you’re holding them in mind, let your thoughts soar with them on the music of your heart and soul!
It’s hard to admit to yourself, much less others, that you have big aspirations for yourself. It’s hard to think of them as more than pipe dreams and fanciful wishes. It’s hard to get up the nerve to go for it.
That’s where having goals comes in, especially when you break them into steps and even smaller, more manageable bits.
Even though it can be intimidating and overwhelming to sit down to set them, it’s also freeing and empowering.
By setting goals, you are:
~giving yourself the chance to be successful;
~honoring yourself and your dreams
~giving yourself permission to go for it;
~taking the first steps toward building a life that’s meaningful to you;
~living your life in a way that has a positive impact on others;
~creating something that has the potential to change the world, or at least your corner of it.
Your homework today is to continue thinking about your dreams and the steps you think you’ll need to take in order to get there. Have fun with this part. Brainstorm with yourself and think of your dreams from different angles—turn them upside down and/or inside out. You may discover something very interesting!